The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has formally opened its call for applicants to its ‘FinTech Hive at DIFC’ accelerator programme, following registered interest from over 200 companies since its launch in January 2017. The 12-week programme is aiming to help early and growth-stage FinTech companies accelerate product and business development by gaining exposure to help from financial institution executives. Successful applicants will be offered the opportunity to develop, test and modify their innovations in collaboration with senior representatives from DIFC Authority, Accenture, and financial institutions such as Citi, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Visa, Emirates NBD, and Mashreq.
The programme also aims to provide access to mentorship from technology partners such as Facebook and Envestnet | Yodlee. Facebook will run an independent mentorship workshop for startups, providing advice on monetisation, growth and engagement, development and marketing tools, and analytics. Envestnet | Yodlee will provide developers with access to Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to build innovative financial applications and services.
Initial selection will be based on maturity, life stage, market traction and financing profiles. Applicants will need to have a well-defined prototype or service implemented in at least one market and will be looking at growing into the Middle East Africa and South Asia region. The programme will lead to up to ten participants presenting their solutions at a Demo Day to an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives.
According to the DIFC, FinTech is set to grow to US$150 billion globally in the next three to five years, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is currently only tapping into 1% of this investment. FinTech Hive at DIFC aims to address this deficit for the UAE and the wider region, by identifying technology entrepreneurs and companies through a competitive process.
Information about the programme and application criteria can be found fintechhive.difc.ae. Applications close on 28 May, 2017.